Want to build a team that is productive, professional and respectful?
Well we’re getting biblical on team-building, godly on good management and prophetic on people skills. Here are 10 crucial commandments on how to build a great team:
1. Thou Shalt Communicate Accordingly
- It’s essential to modify your management style for each individual team member. Some employees are sensitive, some are bolshie and direct. Why not get them to take Nigel Rizner’s ‘It’s a Zoo Around Here’ quiz to find out their communication style. Are they: a visionary, single-minded lion; a playful, extrovert monkey; the careful, analytical elephant or the caring, supportive dolphin? Once you know your team’s communication style you can much more effectively manage your team by addressing each individual in their natural communication style.
2. Thou Shalt Be Aware of Your Team Members’ Strengths
Focusing on employee’s strengths will produce a happier, more productive team. But do you honestly know what each and every employee excels at? Focusing on employee strengths clearly improves engagement. Identify what they personally feel they exceed at. You could even do a SWOT analysis on each project and staff member to determine who’s the best person for the job. But also remember, enthusiasm and motivation is equally as important as experience.
3. Thou Shalt Reward
- So what reward system do you currently have in your workplace? A pat on the back? A cup of tea? The priviledge of not getting shouted at? Some managers couldn’t even answer this question. It’s important to reward achievement, particularly employees who go above and beyond and smash targets. For these tireless team members, transparent rewards systems are essential such as increasing pay scales when they hit set targets. If you’re an SME and cash is too tight to give everyone wage increases, then why not up their motivation and reward them with a fun team building event day.
4. Thou Shalt Recognise Change
This is always a difficult one. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and do things because “that’s the way they’ve always been done”. A stagnant work environment that refuses to evolve is enough to drive the best and most progressive employees straight towards the exit door. So it’s important to listen to your employee’s suggestions for improvement. Ideally, they should feel comfortable enough to directly come to you, but if they’re a little nervous why not introduce an app such as Suggestion Ox, an anonymous online suggestion box that let’s staff provide suggestions and feedback.
5. Thou Shalt Share Information
- With so much time spent in email, it can be difficult to communicate and share information effectively. Apps such as Asana can be used to draw people together. Conversations and tasks are all in one place, meaning everything is actionable and transparent. This creates a sense of unity and cohesion within the work environment.
6. Thou Shalt Harmonise
- It’s inevitable in every workplace that at some point staff members will clash and collide, and the furore that ensues can be highly detrimental to your team’s harmony. But every argument is an opportunity to change. Listen to your employees concerns and be sure to use what is known as ‘giraffe language’, where the trick is to separate the observed behaviour from your judgement and reframe the judgement into a pure observation. This enables you to address both employees without pointing the finger and creates a fair forum for discussion.
7. Thou Shalt Establish Team Values and Goals
It’s important to evaluate team performance and set standards. Most team members share commonalities within the workplace when it comes to values and goals. Ask your team essential questions such as, ‘What does the word success mean to this team?’ ‘What do we really care about in performing our job?’ and ‘What actions should we take to meet these values?’. Understanding what’s important to each other will make the team communicate much more effectively, while agreeing on goals will ensure unison and productivity.
8. Thou Shalt Set Ground Rules
It’s important to set team ground rules early to establish common workplace attitudes – you don’t want it to descend into a super-charged, hyper-masculine recreation of Wolf of Wall Street. If ground rules are set determining communication, employees will know not to step out of line while this will also foster and culture of respect.
9. Thou Shalt Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities
When you walk into a workplace you’re usually greeted with a job description highlighting your roles and responsibilities. But how often does this description highlight how you link in to other’s roles and responsibilities? How often does it highlight how your actions affect other team members, be it positive or negative? When defining your employees’ roles and responsibilities, it is imperative to clearly communicate how they must link and cooperate with other team members. This creates emphathy and team cohesion.
10. Thou Shalt Delegate and Trust
As the famous cultural philosopher, Alan Watts, stated: “You don’t have to make up your mind what your nerve cells are gonna do, you delegated all that authority. Lao Tzu puts it in this way, ‘The great Tao flows everywhere, both to the left and to the right. It loves and nourishes all things, but does not lord it over them, and when merits are accomplished, it lays no claim to them.’ The more, therefore, you relinquish power, trust others, the more powerful you become. But in such a way that instead of having to lay awake nights, controlling everything, you’re doing it beautifully by trusting the job to everyone else.”
Having faith in your team is essential. Highlight that you are delegating a certain job to the team member because you have faith and trust in their abilities. This not only motivates them but also creates a bond of respect.